THURGOONA coach Brett Doswell has defended the Bulldogs’ recruiting policy and backed his ageing list to remain a Tallangatta and District league powerhouse.
The Bulldogs have raised eyebrows after adding veterans Jarrod Twitt, Brad Thompson and Matt Murray over the summer.
They join Doswell, Josh Maher and Jesse Johnston as new recruits at the kennel.
Premiership heroes Jamarl O’Sullivan and Matt Fowler are over 40 and look set to play again after training over the pre-season.
The Bulldogs could have over a dozen players over 30 plus with Aydan Brown, Daniel Kannenberg, Jayden Kotzur, Lucas Mellier and Rory Muggivan all over 30.
Doswell said the salary cap and points system was a big factor behind the Bulldogs’ recruiting policy.
“Having an ageing list is not ideal but with the salary cap and points system we didn’t have a lot of room to move and recruit younger guys,” Doswell said.
“Most of the recruits we have been able to land are good mates and are not chasing big dollars.
“Over the next couple of years when the older guys start retiring is when we may be able to start targeting younger guys.
“The salary cap does restrict your ability to recruit and obviously we are not going to ask guys that are already there to leave.”
Doswell conceded this season was the oldest list he had been involved with.
“In my time at Wodonga and Holbrook we have been one of the youngest sides in the competition,” he said.
“But it is something I’m looking forward to in a way because you are playing with guys that are older and are more experienced.
“I sat down with the president and former coaches Kotta (Kotzur) and Sully (O’Sullivan) at the end of last year and looked at the list and which way we were going to go recruiting wise to remain a force as long as we can.”
Doswell expected both Twitt and Thompson to play at some stage during the season.
“Hopefully they both play a few games,” he said.
“Thommo has been training the most and is probably more chance than Twitty to play.
“Twitty has been retired for a year or so, so it will be harder to get him to pull the boots back on.
“But I’m pushing pretty hard for him to play at least a few games.”
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